From the military to the private sector: Accelerate Scholarship winner needs to help others
Ryan Bissing’s life has been about serving and securing those he loves and cares about. It is a mentality forged during his military service, and one driving Bissing as he transitions from a career in physical security and military service to one securing organizational networks and systems as a cybersecurity professional.
Finding his version of the American dream
After serving in the military as a maintenance technician, Bissing felt called to do something big in his life, but he could not quite figure out what. With a family to take care of and a burning drive to help those around him, Bissing first entered the physical security field and began a degree program in criminal justice. But it didn’t feel right.
“I think sometimes you have to balance reality with passion,” Bissing says. “I think that’s why I’m so late in the cybersecurity game; I kept looking for that higher calling as if the sky was going to part and say, ‘Ryan, this is what you’re meant to do.’ And it just never came.”
It wasn’t until a fellow veteran, friend and cybersecurity professional shared his experience with Bissing that everything began to click.
“I’d be lying if I said it was a lifelong thing, but security in a general sense has always been my motivation,” Bissing says.
It turns out that this gut feeling was right and this one conversation led Bissing to begin a cybersecurity certificate program for veterans at Syracuse University and to the continuous education and career development opportunities available through Infosec Skills.
What motivates me is taking care of the ones I love. That’s what's pushing me now. When things need to get done, you don't wait around to ask for help, you just get it done.
Bissing’s cybersecurity journey
Currently, Bissing is preparing to sit for the CompTIA Security+ certification exam through the Syracuse University certification program. Things are beginning to fall into place.
“I’m still able to fulfill that need to secure, to protect people,” he says. “Cybersecurity just made sense, especially being that there’s a huge deficit in the field.”
To better prepare for the certification exam and further bolster his foundation in cybersecurity, Bissing found the training material, videos and resources available through Infosec Skills online learning platform. In particular, Bissing found that Mike Meyers, one of the instructors, was particularly engaging and beneficial in conveying key topics to supplement his formal training.
“I need somebody that’s visually enthusiastic to help encourage me to be enthusiastic,” Bissing says of Meyers.
Bissing has found support in his family and one of his criminal justice professors, Egune Matthews. These two sources of guidance have helped keep Bissing motivated to learn and achieve his upcoming goals.
Once Bissing finishes his learning program and sits for his Security+ certification exam, he hopes to move on to the Cisco CCNA certification. He hopes to have the foundation he needs to secure a job in the cybersecurity field and look ahead toward creating career goals in the field.
“I’m trying to pick up some bread crumbs along the way to keep me going, little short-term goals like that,” Bissing notes.
Ideally, Bissing would love to find a cybersecurity position in a federal capacity, with the National Security Agency or the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This would offer him the right balance of national and community service and fulfill that desire to provide for his family and secure those he cares about.
Armed with a background in security, a mindset for service and the motivation of his family and a growing professional network (as well as the resources available from Infosec), we can expect to hear more about Bissing’s successes in the field in the years to come.
Infosec Accelerate Scholarship Program
The Infosec Accelerate Scholarship Program was established in 2018 to encourage new talent to join our industry and close the growing cybersecurity skills gap. Each year, 12 scholarship recipients receive lifetime access to Infosec Skills to help them build the skills needed to launch and advance their cybersecurity careers.